What the Yuck: Should I start Botox in my 20s?
January 21st, 2011
06:12 PM ET

What the Yuck: Should I start Botox in my 20s?

Too embarrassed to ask your doctor about sex, body quirks, or the latest celeb health fad? In a regular feature and a new book, "What the Yuck?!," Health magazine medical editor Dr. Roshini Raj tackles your most personal and provocative questions. Send 'em to Dr. Raj at whattheyuck@health.com.

Q: I heard that lots of Hollywood stars start Botox in their 20s to prevent wrinkles. Does that approach really work?

Benjamin Franklin is quoted as having said, "The only things certain in life are death and taxes." I'd like to make an addition to that: wrinkles.

If you smile, frown, or make any expression with your face (even squinting at the sun), you will develop laugh lines, brow lines, lines across your forehead, lines around your eyes, etc. They're a fact of life, and although there are ways to minimize them, we will all get them eventually.

It is true, though, that if you begin using Botox and fillers in your 20s, creases and wrinkles will be slower to develop. That doesn't mean they won't; it just means they will take some more time to show. Also, since these fillers are only temporary, you're signing yourself up for a lifetime of repeat treatments, at several hundred dollars a pop.

You can easily protect yourself from the biggest wrinkle maker: sun damage. I can't stress enough how much the sun destroys your skin day in and day out. Wearing a moisturizer with an SPF 30 will help keep the years (and wrinkles) from piling up on your face - no Botox needed.

Copyright Health Magazine 2011

soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Valerie

    You know how LOW your self esteem must be to be doing this at all, let alone in your 20's???? Seriously!

    Time waits for NO ONE! We are ALL going to be old, if we live long enough! Eat right and work out! A REAL, healthy body is what is truly beautiful- if it is looks you are concerned about!

    January 21, 2011 at 19:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jesus

      I love Joan Rivers' cpmical remark about her Botox riddled face, "Tell me...Am I smiling? I don't know, I can't feel anything". Botox is sway overused and like must cosmetic surgery leaves a person looking like they put on a plastic mask.

      January 22, 2011 at 08:54 | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      What do you expect? Men are conditioned to think all women are supposed to look 20 and have a chest that looks like two cantaloupe halves pasted to their bodies even when they are 60. Most straight women want to get and KEEP a man, and they think this is the only way to do it. It's sad.

      I'm not saying ALL men are that way, but enough are that it makes life miserable for most women.

      January 23, 2011 at 16:14 | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      To Amy:

      Actually it's women who are to blame for perpetuating most of these horrible ideas. Guys for the most part are easy, you show up we get excited. Women are incredibly critical of each other. Go to any school and you will see the little girls and young ladies inflicting psychological damage to one another about each others weight, style or looks. You all break your backs to wear high heels and random fun shoes, yet I have never seen a man actually care what type of shoes a woman wore. We men go with the trend that you ladies set. Start looking in the mirror when you want someone to blame.

      January 23, 2011 at 22:52 | Report abuse |
    • AGeek

      Mike's nailed it, spot on. Not a single guy I know cares about the heels or the haute couture. Big b–bs, sure, most guys will tell you they prefer them, but the truth is, they'll like just about *any* – even more so if they can touch them. 😉 All the botox and plastic surgery? Uhmm.. we actually joke about how ridiculous it makes people look and feel sad for any guy that has to shell out the bucks for it.

      Be a real person, with a real personality. That's it. Do your hair if you'd like (a quick pony tail is even better) and maybe a little *quick* makeup – but not like you're a circus clown. An *inexpensive* little black dress for a night out on the town ..or even better; jeans and a sweatshirt to go out for a beer and we'll think you're the hottest lady in the entire room. Guaranteed.

      Most of all, I leave you with this: You know that hour or two you take getting a primped? We'd *rather* you spend most of that with us than a mirror.

      January 24, 2011 at 07:55 | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      Good gravy....it appears that some people are so vain and insecure that they will resort to any means to keep youth. People, youth is a state of mind and overall health. your looks will fade, you will eventually go bald, your female parts will eventually sag. If you feel beautiful and good, it will radiate outward and others will follow suit.

      January 24, 2011 at 07:57 | Report abuse |
  2. Lola

    News to the young: Botox becomes less effective over time. I've been getting it for around four years now, and I notice that I need more, more often, to do less and less. Wear a hat, use sun block, stay out of the sun between 10 and 3. Use gentle skin cleansers. Don't smoke and don't drink too much alcohol. Work on not being stressed. Enjoy your youth...it's fleeting.

    January 21, 2011 at 21:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jimmy James

      This could be also because....you are four years older.

      January 24, 2011 at 07:38 | Report abuse |
  3. Jessica

    And realize that a lot of the most attractive older women HAVE wrinkles. Jamie Lee Curtis, Susan Sarandon, Mary Steenburgen, etc. all have wrinkles. No, they're not prune-faces (I won't say they haven't taken steps to minimize) but they look natural and still maintain the vitality of their expressions. Compared to women like Nicole Kidman and others who Botox their entire face into complete paralysis. Sure, they don't have wrinkles but they don't look *good* either, do they? There's more to beauty than just having a smooth face.

    January 21, 2011 at 22:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jesus

      Nothing wrong with having some wrinkles or lines. It's natural and doesn't take away from natural beauty.

      January 22, 2011 at 08:56 | Report abuse |
    • CKWhitney

      I agree, the more natural your face looks the better you look... it's like 60 year olds wearing teenager clothes, it just seems off even if it technically doesn't look bad. I'm glad you mentioned nicole kidman because I thought her face looked a bit off but couldn't put my finger on it.

      January 22, 2011 at 21:00 | Report abuse |
    • THX

      Very well said. Every celeb I can think of who's made cosmetic surgery their tool to skirt looking old all look waxy and unreal, like those statues at Madam Tusseaud's. It's not what I'd call good looking. It looks creepy – just like the statues. The older they get, the less human they look, thanks to the chemicals.

      January 23, 2011 at 13:52 | Report abuse |
  4. LEB

    If you're going to start something young, start using moisturizer with sunscreen young! I've been using anti-aging face moisturizer with at least SPF 15 since I started high school, and I made it to 30 without so much as a laugh line. Too bad I didn't think about using the stuff on my neck, chest, or hands until this year, though.

    January 22, 2011 at 00:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CKWhitney

      What a smart idea. I'm 22 and was wondering about those anti-aging mosturizers or foundations, if they help wrinkles if ya start young and glad ya said something about it. I laugh a lot and squint when I laugh and while wrinkles are beautiful on older women, I don't want to look like a prune lol

      January 22, 2011 at 21:02 | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      I'm 35 and I don't have a single wrinkle. But I hardly EVER get out in the sun for longer than 10 minutes at a time. I don't do it on purpose, it's just my life.

      January 23, 2011 at 16:16 | Report abuse |
  5. atandt

    Since Botox is so boTOXIC, all of the batches need to be tested for their degree of boTOXICITY on animals– often the batches are tested on dogs. (Dogs, you know, those living creatures people dress up and talk baby talk to?)
    If only a certain amount of animals are killed from the serum, then it gets shipped out.

    So, every time you stare into a lovely robotic unnatural face, thing of the dead animals that she has left in her wake.

    January 22, 2011 at 11:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Todd

      Actually, pretty much every type of cosmetic surgery was tested on animals, be it breast implants, botox, or skin lighteners.

      For anything that is not genuinely reconstructive, you really have to question the wisdom of doing it.

      January 22, 2011 at 15:33 | Report abuse |
    • CKWhitney

      Awww that's so sad. I use shampoo and conditioner that isn't tested on animals and make up that's cruelty-free. I go to the leapingbunny site.. they have a list of BLEACH that is cruelty-free, like REALLY!!! you test bleach on animals, disgusting and sad people are so high on themselves that they think trapping innocent animals and testing them is okay.

      January 22, 2011 at 21:06 | Report abuse |
  6. atandt

    Since Botox is so boTOXIC, all of the batches need to be tested for their degree of boTOXICITY on animals– often the batches are tested on dogs. (Dogs, you know, those living creatures people dress up and talk baby talk to?)
    If only a certain amount of animals are killed from the serum, then it gets shipped out.

    So, every time you stare into a lovely robotic unnatural face, think of the dead animals that she has left in her wake.

    January 22, 2011 at 11:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • WoodUshutup?

      Can you post a link to any evidence that this is the case?

      January 22, 2011 at 13:15 | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Not all information is available over the internet, you know. Do you doubt anything that you can't Google?

      January 23, 2011 at 08:19 | Report abuse |
  7. me

    I have been getting Botox not far after my late 20's. It does not mean I have low self esteem. It means I care about my appearance and am not afraid of using something that's been around safely for decades. I started using Juvederm last year. I look much younger than women my age. Mind you, I use SPF, eat a vegetarian diet chock full of veggies, drink lots of water, and work out everyday, etc...
    If someone doesn't want Botox, don't get Botox. Don't judge those of us who do! I know I can't change the fact that time goes by, I can only look like it hasn't!

    January 22, 2011 at 13:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • metoo

      Well put me.

      Beyond the fact that it is interesting that a gastroenterologist and not a dermatologist is answering this question I find it funny that while Dr Raj strongly supports using daily SPF 30 moisturizer because it has been shown to slow down wrinkle formation her next statement "no Botox needed" tells you not to use another thing that has also been shown to slow down wrinkle formation. Leave it to the experts Dr Raj. If I write in with a question about inflammatory bowel disease will a dermatologist answer my question?

      January 22, 2011 at 14:00 | Report abuse |
    • Regina P

      you are just awesome.

      January 22, 2011 at 16:13 | Report abuse |
    • not you

      You delude yourself that your unnaturally frozen face looks good. If you had the high self esteem you claim to have, you wouldn't be so paranoid about aging gracefully. Botox = desperation. What good does it do to be a vegetarian when you use something that they kill animals to test on? Hypocrite. I don't know what you look like, but no one is that pretty.

      January 22, 2011 at 23:26 | Report abuse |
    • gladimnotU

      What's next, a hypobaric chamber? Do you have a life other than spending 24/7 worrying about your shell? You look real good, I'm sure, too bad your empty and hollow on the inside. You have to be to try to fight time. It sounds like a full time job for you. One things for sure, you may have a long and empty life, but you are preety much guaranteed to leave a real pretty corpse. Bravo! Consider yourself judged, now turn around and judge me for not caring about your vanity and desperation. God help you if you ever become disabled or disfigured.

      January 22, 2011 at 23:33 | Report abuse |
    • hahahaha

      Look much younger than your age, what, do you like your fourteen or something? I suggest you do a little shaving to make the illusion complete. Guys love that, well, some guys.

      January 22, 2011 at 23:37 | Report abuse |
    • my2cents

      My mother has a saying, "More money than brains." I think that applies to you.

      January 22, 2011 at 23:39 | Report abuse |
    • auldduffer

      I would say that since it's obviously all you care about, I hope your incredible good looks last forever. Considering I'm almost older than God, I inform you sadly that they will not. I have seen some really stunning beauties come and go. But we all grow old, we all die. What you look like may capture someone's interest, but it's what you actually are that keeps that interest. With all your obssessive talk about you, you, and you and how wonderful you are because you look so much better than other females your age, you must be getting tired of people walking away. You are probably pretty, but very, very boring. And you will still be boring when you get old, you just won't have the looks anymore. If that day doesn't come, it will be because you died before it could get here.

      January 22, 2011 at 23:56 | Report abuse |
    • meme

      Iit does mean you have low self-esteem. It means that you have chosen to prolong reality (wrinkles) so that you feel more comfortable in front of others. Putting that much stock what others think is quintessentially low self-esteem. just my $.02.

      January 23, 2011 at 08:54 | Report abuse |
    • THX

      Botox has been in use since the late 80's – barely 20 years for the people who were in on the process from the very beginning. There hasn't been sufficient time to see the true long-term effects of putting botulism into human bodies. I'll be curious to know how people who've had this treatment look and feel in another 30 years.

      January 23, 2011 at 13:58 | Report abuse |
    • ric

      Its called dysmorphic syndrome. Its actually a lot more serious than just wanting to pretend your younger than you really are.

      January 23, 2011 at 19:42 | Report abuse |
  8. Phil

    Who cares if someone has wrinkles... I have them, it's a small part of what makes me, me. I'm not bothered by them and in fact find some to be attractive in women. It makes them look more mature.

    January 22, 2011 at 15:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Gary

    Don't judge a book by it's cover so it's said....http://www.3phonemobile.com/

    January 22, 2011 at 19:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Jon O

    Let these self-absorbed, narcissistic goobers keep at it... its their money, its their bodies they're damaging, and its their parents who are to blame for raising such vapid, shallow losers with nothing else going for them other than their already fading "beauty."

    January 23, 2011 at 07:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Peter North

      Hi Honey...I have some botox for you and I bet you will love it!!

      January 24, 2011 at 08:12 | Report abuse |
  11. RK

    I don't know what all the fuss about is here. I started using fillers and botox when I was 24. It doesn't change you're appearance just makes you look more fresh faced. I was actually told by my derm that botox is great to prevent wrinkles. I say do what makes you happy. If you can afford it....why not?

    January 23, 2011 at 13:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. miriam

    Is it possible to have non surgical treatment to improve puffy bags below the eyes?

    January 23, 2011 at 14:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Emmaleah

      Raise the head of your bed about 2-3". Put wood under the box spring or the legs. It makes a lot of difference for many women and also can help ease sinus congestion. Cool compresses on your eyes and a quality under eye cream will also help.

      In general, drinking water and getting regular massage therapy can also help improve circulation and reduce the swelling there. Meditation and good sleep (no caffeine after 2pm!) also help reduce their appearance. Allergic shiners–inflammation pooling under the eyes–are often mistaken for that puffiness, so if you suspect allergies at all, embark on a mission to eliminate them from your life. This will improve your sleep and make those bags disappear even more.

      I'm in my 40s and rarely have even a shadow under my eyes unless I've not slept or if I have had a mild allergic reaction to something.

      January 24, 2011 at 00:59 | Report abuse |
  13. Johnny

    To the women: A little botox is OK if you have some really tough wrinkles you'd like to take care of, but those paralyzed, stretched back frozen faces, puffy lips and fake noses? Gross. I will always find a girl with her natural looks more attractive than a plasticized wreck. Far too many girls in their late teens and early 20's ruin their faces for life with stuff like that.

    January 23, 2011 at 15:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jill

      Oh thanks so much Port-O-John for those soothing words...LOSER!!

      January 24, 2011 at 08:14 | Report abuse |
  14. Emmaleah

    Botox is brilliant for migraines, cerebral palsy, and serious medical conditions. Why you would put it in your body for any other reason is beyond me.

    January 24, 2011 at 00:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Dew

    But...."I wanta grow up to be an old woman". And so I am...embracing it naturally...

    January 24, 2011 at 12:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. ok ok ok

    botox is not a filler. it inhibits muscle movement. so, if you can't move that muscle, then you don't get that wrinkle. and, yes, if you have botox injections before you develop the wrinkle and forever after have injections, then you won't have wrinkles 🙂

    January 24, 2011 at 12:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Dr. Raul Rodriguez

    Botox is a great way for many people to get rid of fine lines and wrinkles. There's also a newer treatment called mesobotox that lasts longer and oftentimes has better results. Mesobotox is a combination of two great technologies: botox and cosmetic mesotherapy for skin rejuvenation. Here's a video that provides some information http://drraulrodriguez.com/mesobotox-resources.html

    January 24, 2011 at 17:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Stacey

    I have had acne problems since my teen years and have been left with acne scars. I've been wondering if botox could help the scaring? I'm only in my 20's and realize this is young to start botox, but I would really like smoother healthier looking skin.

    September 25, 2012 at 11:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Freda Fergoson

    Skin treatments will only be needed in case of any deficiency and lack of nutritional value. Unless medically examined for factors like skin type, colour complexion, sensitivities, reasons behind ill-health and further requirements, a skin rejuvenation session can do more harm than good. :.,"

    Until next time

    July 3, 2013 at 21:06 | Report abuse | Reply
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